[Tagging] Can OSM become a geospacial database?

Marc Gemis marc.gemis at gmail.com
Thu Dec 6 12:04:57 UTC 2018

> Another solution is to always put category name into "name" field. "Paris" would become "City of Paris" or "Paris city".
> And the renderers will need to decide how to cut the category word from some names in order not to display then on the map or another ready-to-use tag will need to be inroduce which would contain just "Paris" in it.

that's the world upside down.
You have to analyse the tags we put on the object
(natural=water;water=lake or place=town, etc.). You can query all
those tags.
Many items do not have detail descriptions via the tags (e.g. just
amenity=school and no isced:level), because mappers are not
interested, do not know the detail or do not know they can add those

At this moment I see no interest in something like education 2.0
(available as a rejected proposal on the wiki) which tries to get rid
of amenity=school and replace that with a number of tags that breaks
up a object representing a school in smaller characteristics. Those
pieces together formed a "school".
But as said, many mapper do not add details and the proposal would
mean they have to add detail or go with something less than school , a
place of education. I would not only put a burden on mappers, but also
on all dataconsumers that what to provide a simple search for "driving
school", because you have to specify x number of characteristics
instead of just 1.

Over time we will add more information and all schools will have e.g.
isced:levels, etc. Perhaps this will still not be enough to
differentiate between Lycée and Atheneum, but I question whether OSM
alone should be the place to put all this information.
I do not believe that OSM should be the place to explain to any
researcher what the difference is between Lycée and atheneum. Another
database, perhaps Wikidata can be used for that. When OSM and Wikidata
are linked in one way or another you could query the combination of
databases and group schools in any way you want.


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